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Derrington Building Studio

Derrington Building Studio

Austin, TX

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The courtyard is warmly lit during evening hours and is nestled by the protective walls of the Mission-inspired facade.
The courtyard is warmly lit during evening hours and is nestled by the protective walls of the Mission-inspired facade.
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Khabele Elementary Expansion

In 2013, the Khabele School purchased a 4-acre property with an existing daycare facility to expand their rapidly growing elementary program. In the school’s initial meeting with Derrington Building Studio principal, Tim Derrington, their directive was simple—design the campus as “a village in the forest.” The school’s limited budget and tight schedule, along with the site’s sensitive environmental restrictions, posed unique challenges.

Derrington Building Studio translated this vision for Khabele’s progressive community into architecture through a crisp play on Central Texas vernacular.  The new building facade unites the campus by incorporating an existing masonry pattern from their prominent existing kindergarten building. Circulation extracted from the interior and brought to the exterior capitalizes on the local climate while minimizing ground cover. This also maximizes the classroom spaces and obliges interaction with the surrounding elements. This open spatial experience and natural material palette creates an inviting learning environment that fosters growth for students’ minds and well-being.

 
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Status: Built
Location: Austin, TX, US
Firm Role: Principal
Additional Credits: • General Contractor

American Constructors

http://www.acitexas.com

• Civil Engineer

Thompson Land Engineering
http://www.tleng.net

• Structural Engineer
Structures
http://www.structurestx.com

• MEP Engineer

EEA Consulting Engineers
https://www.eeace.com

• Photographer:
Peter Molick Photography

www.petermolick.com

 
The main circulation path is broad enough to be thought of like an avenue and can accommodate gatherings and spontaneous play.
The main circulation path is broad enough to be thought of like an avenue and can accommodate gatherings and spontaneous play.
Each teacher arranged their classroom in different ways, and broke each classroom into subzones that could not have been predicted.
Each teacher arranged their classroom in different ways, and broke each classroom into subzones that could not have been predicted.
Clerestory lights open up the ceiling and lift one’s eyes to the tree canopies and clouds above.
Clerestory lights open up the ceiling and lift one’s eyes to the tree canopies and clouds above.
The classrooms are all directly connected with oversized doors to give the teachers the option of expanding the spaces into each other. When it is time to focus, teachers can close the doors, and isolate each space.
The classrooms are all directly connected with oversized doors to give the teachers the option of expanding the spaces into each other. When it is time to focus, teachers can close the doors, and isolate each space.
Strong lines of symmetry govern the layout of the classroom spaces.
Strong lines of symmetry govern the layout of the classroom spaces.
A mid-morning moment at the Khabele Elementary School
A mid-morning moment at the Khabele Elementary School
This shot helps to illustrate the shadow play of the awning on the split-face limestone.
This shot helps to illustrate the shadow play of the awning on the split-face limestone.
The existing building (not pictured) adjacent to this one is a Texas Hill Country-styled former daycare center. It has a hipped roof and limestone walls. The intention is for that building to remain an integral part of the campus.
The existing building (not pictured) adjacent to this one is a Texas Hill Country-styled former daycare center. It has a hipped roof and limestone walls. The intention is for that building to remain an integral part of the campus.
Shadow play with limestone, galvanized outriggers, and the translucent polygal awning.
Shadow play with limestone, galvanized outriggers, and the translucent polygal awning.
During early morning and early evening hours, the warm lighting offers a friendly environment for sleepyheads.
During early morning and early evening hours, the warm lighting offers a friendly environment for sleepyheads.
From the beginning, the courtyard was intended to be an extension of the classroom space. Inside and outside blend seamlessly.
From the beginning, the courtyard was intended to be an extension of the classroom space. Inside and outside blend seamlessly.
The guiding design vision was that of a village in the forest, therefore maintaining as many trees as possible was a priority. The layout of the buildings was determined to maximize the saving of existing trees.
The guiding design vision was that of a village in the forest, therefore maintaining as many trees as possible was a priority. The layout of the buildings was determined to maximize the saving of existing trees.
Eventually, the campus will grow to include a total of 6 new buildings, a sport court, and soccer field.
Eventually, the campus will grow to include a total of 6 new buildings, a sport court, and soccer field.